Today’s Metro Lesson: I Break Escalators

Yeah, so I broke the Farragut West escalator this morning. But it wasn’t exactly my fault. It was more that I was forced to take lifesaving action by an Asian Lady wielding a colossal bag.

After the train pulled into the station, this Asian Lady erupted from the commuter pack like she was a Wal-Mart shopper on Black Friday. She body checked her way through the hordes until she reached the escalator bottleneck. Eventually, she got on the left side of escalator, directly in front of me, and strolled up about four steps. Behind me, the Commutership was surging forward, attempting to climb the stairs at their usual I’m-An-Important-DC-Person-Who-Is-Singlehandedly-Saving-The-Entire-Human- Population-From-Mass-Cataclysm-So-Get-Your-Hiney-Out-Of-The-Way pace. Yet the Asian Lady suddenly decided to take her sweet time. While she had no visible signs of Tourist, she was also sans Blackberry, black power suit or iPod. Clearly, she was not on her way to work and rushing with the other political peeps was no longer appealing.

But moving as slow as my ass on a Monday morning was not enough. About half way up the escalator, the Asian Lady stopped. Done. No more walking. There was no reason; the escalator was clear on our side. Everybody ahead of her had already reached the top and was well on their way to their Important Person Meetings. And then, just as abruptly as she’d stopped climbing up, the Asian Lady apparently decided that she was wanted back down. She took a step backwards, down one step. Then she did it again, forcing herself onto stair where I was standing until we were sharing five square inches of escalator. Behind me, the Commutership was still attempting to get up the left side of the escalator. Meanwhile, the Metro Rider at my rear kept shoving. He was like a hungry third grader in the lunch line, trying to compel us forward with Jedi mind power and brute strength. Within seconds, I was wedged between the Asian Lady and the Commuter Onslaught.

I’m not sure exactly how it got so whackadoo after that. Physics could probably explain everything, but it’s not like I paid a lot of attention in that class. I do know it happened in that weird slow mo which occurs only in movies or dire personal situations… As I felt myself being propelled from behind, straight into the back of the now immovable Asian Lady, I knew something had to give. But it so wasn’t going to be the Asian Lady. She was planted on those escalator steps like she was the freaking Great Wall of China. And the Commutership was not going to be detoured either. Within seconds, I got rammed to the right, ejected from the human pressure cooker. I bounced off a person standing next to me, pulling them off balance, and ricocheted back to the left, into the space I’d just been forced from. At that point, I knew I had two options: plunge backwards to my death or make a frantic grab at the escalator rail and pray. I wasn’t in the mood to be a Metro Statistic, so I went with option two.

Apparently the weight of a Midwestern Sexy girl grabbing the escalator rail like it’s the only thing keeping her from seeing Jesus is enough to trigger the emergency stop. But that sudden jolt made me hurtle backwards, into the line of antsy commuters. They started to topple like dominoes while I tried desperately to stay in place, arms doing that wild circle spin thing cartoon characters have perfected, balancing on my tip toes, desperately wishing that some of my dignity would remain and I wouldn’t fall.

I’m pretty sure The Universe had gotten its daily jollies at my expense and was about to take pity; I probably would have stayed standing. Except at that exact moment, the Asian Lady turned around, smacking my head with her 50 pounds of Big Bag. That was enough. I was totally Man Down and butt-planted on another Midwestern Sexy woman, who sort of make a deflating sound when I landed on her chest.

We all laid there for a minute, a sea of flattened commuters. And then slowly, we began to pick ourselves up. After I checked to make sure nothing was broken, I spotted the Asian Lady. She was at the top of the escalator by now, surveying the damage. She looked vaguely like the Wicked Witch of the West. But Asian. We caught each other’s eye and then, like this was my fault, she gave me The Bird. If she had been within reach, I swear to God, I would have cracked her like a fortune cookie.


12 Responses to “Today’s Metro Lesson: I Break Escalators”

  1. Kevin Says:

    If’n I weren’t at work I’d have burst out laughing. Not at you, of course, with you.

    Good thing you weren’t wearing Crocs, you might have been sucked halfway into the escalator before it ground to a stop. Which, I’m guessing, would have been even more painful.

    If you see her tomorrow, make sure to give the Asian Lady a bitch slap from yourself and everyone behind you.

    Bitch slap’s not the only thing she’d be getting…

  2. LiLu Says:

    PRICELESS, my dear. Priceless. I’m surprised you didn’t run after her. She’d make great Chop Suey.

    She was wirey and surprisingly quick. I didn’t stand a chance.

  3. Laina Says:

    Perfect ending. Perfect!

    Dude, you owe me a phone call.

  4. Laina Says:

    Hot Hippy Boyfriend says you should pitch your life as a TV show, because the improbable shit that happens to you would make great viewing. 😀

    How about he buy the book instead?

  5. SingleGirl Says:

    I would have paid money to see this. Good money.

    Well…I gladly accept donations? For reenactments?

  6. TL Says:

    I generally like the Metro, but sometimes…grrrr. One time an up escalator was broken. The down one (to the orange/blue) still worked. Well, this one woman did not want to wait to use the down escalator in “rush hour”, so she started walking down the broken up escalator everyone else was using to go, well, up (and that is up every single day it works). She just started shouting an entitled, bitchy, “Excuse me!” in an “excuse you” tone. She was carrying some clothes on hangers, and as she passed me she caught my sleeve, slightly ripping my shirt and scratching the hell out of my arm. Instead of stopping she PULLED on it, further scratching me, and got this nasty look at me as though it was my fault she a) was going down an escalator everyone else was going up, and b) couldn’t keep her stuff from causing bloodshed.

    There would have been words…

  7. hordes of tourists | Digg hot tags Says:

    […] Vote Today’s Metro Lesson: I Break Escalators […]

  8. Maxie Says:

    Do people ever die on those escalators? They (or at least the ones that I remember at dupont circle) are super scary.

    Go visit the Rosslyn Megasclator. You won’t like that one either.

  9. Jennifer Says:

    Had no idea how you took your life in your own hands every day just to get to work!

    DC: it’s a jungle.

  10. Zandria Says:

    WHAT!!!! Oh, wow. That sounds so dangerous. I’ve wondered what might happen if people started losing their balance and toppling over on one of those ultra-high escalators. How scary…

    Luckily for me, I landed on somebody. But that poor woman…I hope she’s OK.

  11. freckledk Says:

    Oh, that’s friggin brilliant. Love.

    Glad to entertain.

  12. Laura Says:

    That just made my day! I literally cracked up in my not-so-important-DC-person cubicle.

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